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Living With Sjögren’s


Travel Tips for People with Sjögren's

Arrive early at the airport

Arriving well in advance of your scheduled departure time can help you remain calm and gives you enough time to complete all necessary security checks before boarding. Allow enough time to request assisted boarding from the airline if needed and inform the security officer about the medications in your carry-on baggage.

Follow guidelines

Sjögren’s patients and their caregivers need to be aware of local rules and guidelines for travel::

Find out if you can carry an unlimited number of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, even those more than 100 ml, in your carry-on baggage. Allowable medications include eye drops, saline solutions, and ointments, gels, or balms used to lubricate the eyes, mouth, nose, or lips.

Tell the security officer that you have Sjögren’s and declare the medications you are carrying during the security screen.

For reasons other than Sjögren’s, liquids, gels, and aerosols must be carried in containers under 100 ml in a single, one-litre, clear, zip-top bag, which will be X-ray screened.

Always carry a doctor’s certificate 

While traveling, consider carrying a note or certificate on a letterhead from your doctor explaining that you have Sjögren’s, including a list of medications that you need to carry. If possible, carry a copy of your personal health record with you, which can come in handy during a doctor’s appointment in a different city.

If you wear a MedicAlert ID, have it on you at all times so that first responders have a way of quickly knowing about your condition in case of an emergency.

Organize your medications

Properly organizing your medications can save precious time and makes it easy to access them. Make a note of medications that are particularly important and pack them in a separate bag.

Eye drops and other topical agents must be carried unopened in their original packaging. Carry enough pieces of wet washcloths in a separate bag and place them on your eyes occasionally to prevent them from drying. Check if your doctor recommends taking salivary stimulants such as Salagen (pilocarpine) before boarding the plane.

If possible, carry items in duplicate in separate bags so that you have a back-up if one of your bags gets lost.

Carry enough food and liquids

Carry edible products such as sugar-free candies, gum, or juicy fruits to prevent your mouth from drying during travel. Purchase water or fill your water bottle once you are passed security. Avoid sticky foods, tobacco, alcohol, and carbonated drinks.

Ensure you have sufficient medication for the duration of your trip

Make sure you have an adequate supply of all your prescription and OTC medications for the entire duration of your trip. You may wish to determine if your drugs are available at your destination in case of an emergency.

Don’t travel alone if possible

Travel with a companion if at all possible. Make them aware of your condition.

Get adequate rest

Remember that you need adequate rest to prevent tiredness and fatigue. Ensure that your itinerary allows enough time for rest and relaxation.

*article adapted from